Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. This is the thirteenth installment of a weekly article I’ll be writing all season long in which I’ll try to determine the truth about puzzling players. I pull suggestions for which players to write about for these articles from the Apples & Ginos community on Discord and the Apples & Ginos Patreon members. Be sure you check out those spots to catch up with me and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Alex Ovechkin or anyone else everyone is laughing at you for asking about. Let’s get it!
Ryan O’Reilly, C – STL
This question was asked before ROR had a multi-point outing here on Monday night against the Predators, but it’s worth re-examining his role on this stacked St. Louis lineup and seeing what sort of production we might be able to expect from him moving forward. He’s hot right now, with five points in his last four games before tonight’s multi-point effort. He’s definitely outperforming his expected totals during his last five games, and on the season his on-ice Corsi For/60 (CF/60) has curious dropped significantly while his on-ice scoring chances for/60 (SCF/60) have actually increased by a substantial amount. ROR was on a 58-point pace for the season headed into tonight’s game, and given he’s increased his shots/60 slightly and his on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%) is lagging what he’s done the last three years in St. Louis, I expect ROR to be a 60-65 point pace player for the rest of the season.
Verdict: Probably not hitting any career highs anytime soon, but still a very usable player
Trevor Moore, LW – LAK
Moore’s hard work has seen him ascend the Kings’ lineup to the point that he’s been a fixture on the second line for a solid stretch of late. And he absolutely deserves it. On the season Moore is posting the best rates of his young career across the board, and he’s especially been killing it of late after joining forces with Phillip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson on the second line. With Adrian Kempe missing time now Moore’s deployment on the second line and second power play seems relatively safe, which resulted in four straight games of 17+ minutes before today’s debacle versus the Sharks. Over his last five games, Moore ranks 21st in the league in individual scoring chances for/60 (iSCF/60), 15th in CF/60, and 4th in SCF/60. It’s fair to wonder if Moore will be able to sustain his newfound pace for the rest of the season, but in the present Moore should absolutely be rostered in 12-teamers.
Verdict: Definitely worth the add at just 19% rostered on Yahoo
Travis Konecny, RW – PHI
Let’s get the easy part out of the way first here. Konecny is absolutely performing very well currently. He’s put up 4 or more iSCF in his last four games straight, and he’s done that without top power play time. He’s averaging around 16 minutes a game of late, which isn’t ideal but also makes his chance generation even more impressive. The biggest problem with endorsing Konecny as a fantasy asset is that he’s been placed on a less-than-optimal Scott Laughton & Oskar Lindblom line which will undoubtedly weigh him down in what should be a breakout level season if we’re going by his underlying stats. I firmly believe that Konecny has more to give, but I’m not going to add him until he gets on the top line or #1 power play unit.
Verdict: Good player, bad linemates currently. Should definitely be on your watch list
Evan Rodrigues, LW – PIT
We’re at a tipping point with Rodrigues. Either this is the point where he gets bumped a bit down the lineup and fades, or he establishes that he is now a bona fide star in the league and demands the playing time to match his talent. I’ve previously stated how Rodrigues ranks highly in the league in every statistical category I like to track. On the flip side, Rodrigues’ last three games have been wildly unremarkable, culminating in a zero-shot, zero-iSCF performance on Saturday against the Sharks. Tonight Rodrigues is starting on the third line with Jeff Carter and Dominik Simon, and I don’t need to tell you that that kind of deployment will certainly cap Rodrigues’ ceiling as a fantasy performer. These next few games will be very key in watching how Rodrigues is deployed with the Penguins finally fully healthy up front and whether he can maintain his shot and chance generation rates from down the lineup. If you want to sell Rodrigues, you probably missed your best window of return but I won’t hold it against you to take what profit you can and bank it.
Verdict: Watching this one intently this week to see if he fades
Alex Ovechkin, LW – WSH
I think this is a necessary study at this point in the season. Ovechkin is on a 55-goal, 113-point pace which would be his best statistical season since 2009-10. The Capitals appear to be making a concerted effort to get Ovechkin as many empty net goals as possible (he already has 6 on the season; last year’s league leaders had 5 apiece) but the real story has been Ovechkin’s assist production. Because it’s Ovechkin we like to give him a pass and certainly Evgeny Kuznetsov’s career resurrection has played a large part here, but I have to worry about Ovie’s 77% individual points percentage (IPP) when he’s averaged 60-65% for the last six years. I don’t have concerns with his 14.4% shooting percentage or 13.3% oiSH% so much – he’s sustained those numbers and more in multiple seasons previously. But if Ovechkin reverts back to a 65% IPP player for the rest of the season that’s a 96-point pace not a 113-point pace. That’s a really significant difference and not one we should take lightly. I’m never going to tell someone they should try to sell on Alexander Ovechkin, but it’s certainly not the worst thing you could do if you can get insane value for him based on his current inflated point pace.
Verdict: Ovie’s overweight on assists but the goals will continue to come
Before you go, I want to make sure you’re aware of the Apples and Ginos Fantasy Hockey Podcast and I would be much obliged if you were to give it a listen. There are two weekly shows focused on the strategy elements of fantasy hockey and I’m very excited about providing more value to the fantasy hockey community in this way. I’ve already had terrific guests like Ian Gooding from Dobber Hockey and Elan Dubrofsky from Keeping Karlsson on the show and I believe the content is top notch.
That’s all for this one folks, I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter and join the free Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have. If you want to learn more about any of the advanced stats I mentioned in this article, be sure to check out my article on applying advanced stats to fantasy hockey, or check out Natural Stat Trick’s advanced stats glossary.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!
Soundtrack to my writing: ~how I’m feeling~ by Lauv
Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick